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Full text of "A history of Persia"

UI

THE SELJUK TURKS                 103
lifetime Toghril chose Azud-u-DIn, Abu Shuja Alp
Arslan, son of Chakir Beg and younger brother of Malik
Kaward, as his successor. After ToghriTs death, Al-
Kunduri,1 his minister, unwisely supported Sulayman,
brother of his late master, but in vain, and he himself was
put to death. His dying message to Alp Arslan ran :
" Say to the King, c Lo, a fortunate service has your
service been to me ; for thy uncle gave me this world to
rule over, whilst thou, giving me the martyr's portion,
hast granted me the other world ; so, by your service,
have I gained this world and that! * " The " Conquering
Lion"—to translate his title—mighty ruler though he
was, is chiefly remembered in connexion with Abu Ali
Hasan bin Ishak, famous in history as the Nizam-ul-
Mulk. This great statesman was born at Radkan, some
fifty miles to the north of Meshed, and after enjoying a
good education attracted the favourable notice of Chakir
Beg. Having been recommended to Alp Arslan, he
became his Vizier. He is always looked upon as the
model of a great minister, and some, at least, of his work
has endured ; for the Persian system of accounts which
prevails to-day is believed to have been originated by
him. Among his prot6g£s was Omar Khayyam, the
Persian poet best known to Europeans ; and the famous
college which he founded at Baghdad became a school
of great men, among whom al-Ghazdli, the eminent
theologian, deserves special mention.
Under Alp Arslan the boundaries of the Seljuk
Empire were extended. Eastward he subdued Herat,
and later on Jand in Transoxiana ; he also successfully
checked the ambitions of his brother Kaward, as already
related. In Arabia he overcame the Fatimids and gained
Mecca and Medina, thereby much augmenting his
prestige. In A.H. 464 (1071) he defeated a vastly
superior Byzantine army in western Asia Minor and took
prisoner the Emperor Diogenes Romanus. The story is
told that when Romanus, who had fought heroically, was
brought to Alp Arslan he was asked what treatment he
expected. He replied either death or to be paraded
'                ! So called from Kundur in the Turshiz district.